Monday, April 4, 2011

Clare #14 - One Hundred Alla Prima Portraits of American Teenagers


"Especially early in high school, it seems like everyone is watching you, judging you, what you need to realize is they're not, and that will make you feel more comfortable with yourself.  High school gets better!"

Clare grew up practically next door and I have watched her grow from a baby into a beautiful young woman.  It was very interesting, and a privilege, to paint someone I have known for their entire life.  I tried Langnickel sable brushes for this painting, they were very long and floppy and felt difficult to control.  It was a challenge to get used to them, but I stayed with it for the entire painting and this taught me how to manipulate them and understand their unique quality.


  1. I really love the soft edges in this painting! The quote rings so true, as well. I remember feeling that way as teenager, but didn't have the foresight to know any different. Clare sounds like she does! What type of canvas did you use for this painting? Just lovely!!

  2. Beautiful reflected light on the chin.

  3. Hi Amy,
    Clare is a very level headed young woman, and I agree with you, I wish I had that kind of insight when I was in high school.
    I can't remember which canvas that was, and I am at the Apple store waiting for my computer to be fixed so I can't check right now, but luckily I have been keeping careful notes on the back of each painting, trying to be scientific about my experimenting. But I do know that I did this painting with Royal And Langnickel long sable brushes, and it was quite interesting and a little hard to control. I wanted to see what they do. I found I had to use a lot of medium to make the paint flow with those brushes. They shed, which is a problem, so I have now gotten similar brushes from Rosemary and company.

  4. Thanks, Natalie. I have gone to the Rosemary brushes web site as I had heard about them through the new Plein Air magazine. I'd be curious to know how you like them. Keep me posted! Again, thanks so much for your responses.

  5. Hi Amy, I really like the brushes. I got the 278 series. They don't shed like some other brands. They are kind of puffy. I work a lot with bristles, but I have discovered that for paintings done in one sitting, sometimes the bristles leave scratchy marks and don't cover enough. If the surface is at all slippery, these are great.